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Walking Bayonne - Irun 2022

s80

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2012: Le Puy-en-Velay - Muxia
2022: Norte
Hello! I’m wondering if anyone has recently walked from Bayonne to Irun/the northern route?

I saw on one thread that someone suggested walking along the l'Adour river from Bayonne to the coast to Biarritz. They said from there you can follow Le Sentier Littoral, a coastal trail all the way to Hendaye. Have others taken this route recently? Are these routes well marked? Are there any updated maps/resources you would share? Are there any maps available at the cathedral in Bayonne?

Also, has anyone recently taken the ferry from Hendaye over to Spain? Would you recommend this option?

From what I can see on Gronze, the Albergue in Saint-Jean-de-Luz is currently operating. Has anyone stayed here recently?

That's a lot of questions! Thanks so much for any information shared! :)
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
@Vacajoe walked it last year
Walked Bayonne to Bilbao early Oct 2021 - lovely walk with a warm day or two, a rainy day or two, a warm rainy day or two 😎, and cool otherwise. Handful of pilgrims at the Albergues with some issues regarding bed availability due to Covid, mid-month seasonal shutdowns, and the existence of surfers on the coast. Felt more like a long hike than a Camino, per se.
 

estorildon

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I don’t know if walking along the River would be any more interesting than walking directly on the sidewalks to Biarritz. If I had my choice I would get off the train in Biarritz walk a short distance to your left up the hill to La Negresse and start following the arrows to Bidart.
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
see signature
Hello! I’m wondering if anyone has recently walked from Bayonne to Irun/the northern route?

I saw on one thread that someone suggested walking along the l'Adour river from Bayonne to the coast to Biarritz. They said from there you can follow Le Sentier Littoral, a coastal trail all the way to Hendaye. Have others taken this route recently? Are these routes well marked? Are there any updated maps/resources you would share? Are there any maps available at the cathedral in Bayonne?

Also, has anyone recently taken the ferry from Hendaye over to Spain? Would you recommend this option?

From what I can see on Gronze, the Albergue in Saint-Jean-de-Luz is currently operating. Has anyone stayed here recently?

That's a lot of questions! Thanks so much for any information shared! :)
I walked some variant of it in july. backwards. and I cobbled it together myself to avoid as much asphalt as possible. I discovered some nice paths, actually.

refuge de st jacques in bayonne has all the info. some of that info is here, though a bit outdated. waymarked trails map is also useful.

the route is waymarked in a typical french fashion, with blue-yellow stickers and sometimes with yellow arrows. as far as I know, there is no water between bayonne and guethary, there are bars and I think I remember a veggie shop in the industrial zone, but may not be open early.

22km bayonne - guethary
7.7km guethary - saint-jean-de-luz
15km saint-jean-de-luz - irun

there is a gite in guethary, 6 beds, 0603 07 90 34, resevation suggested, €20 bed & breakfast, I heard lovely reports about it. it's very near the centre and about 500m from the sea. guethary has all services, incl. a train station.

gite in saint-jean-de-luz in smack in the centre of the old town, with a full kitchen and a big patio, with two supermarkets 5min away and a beach 10min away. very nice.
10 beds, 0559 23 01 92, call ahead, €12 bed & breakfast, 15h-22h.

the official waymarked route avoids the coast, I didn't take it.

sentier littoral is officialy closed but is totally passable in its entirety. it's waymarked with yellow splashes and some signposts. it basically follows the main road above the cliffs, safely behind a wooden fence, but you have to climb over it over and over because there are barriers at all entrances to the path. if you stick to the path along the road behind the fence it is perfectly safe. (barring some terrible weather.) the only really eroded section was the one not oficially barred that passed by a small peebly beach. you can bypass it along the road.

when you reach a museum right off the road (maison de la corniche), sentier littoral goes off the road too and is joined by the official camino. it starts somewhere to the right of the museum, looking your way, and crosses a lovely private peninsula. when the private property ends and the path reaches a street with a parking lot, turn right down the road to the beach and walk left along the beach to reach a paved paseo along the beach of hendaye-plage.

make your way between houses to the main road along the bay of irun/hondarribia and then basically follow this road into spain. the old bridge was barred in july but there is a new bridge next to it.

fountains are in bayonne, guethary, at some of the beaches along the sea, saint-jean-de-luz, socoa, at the museum, in hendaye-plage.

I didn't take the boat because it only started to run at 10h. I would have otherwise. I think it's a neat way into spain and delivers you directly to pretty hondarribia.
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
2014, 2016, 2018, 2022, 2023, 2024
sentier littoral is officialy closed but is totally passable in its entirety. it's waymarked with yellow splashes and some signposts. it basically follows the main road above the cliffs, safely behind a wooden fence, but you have to climb over it over and over because there are barriers at all entrances to the path. if you stick to the path along the road behind the fence it if perfectly safe. (barring some terrible weather.) the only really eroded section was the one not oficially barred that passed by a small peebly beach. you can bypass it along the road.

This matches our experience in March 2022 as well. It's a great route and we never felt in danger even though the route is officially closed.

We did take the ferry from Hendaye into Hondarribia and it was easy, inexpensive, quick, and a great way to cross into Spain.
 
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s80

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2012: Le Puy-en-Velay - Muxia
2022: Norte
This matches our experience in March 2022 as well. It's a great route and we never felt in danger even though the route is officially closed.

We did take the ferry from Hendaye into Hondarribia and it was easy, inexpensive, quick, and a great way to cross into Spain.
Thank you for your response -- this is great to hear! After crossing into Hondarribia, did you go to Irun or continue on along the coast?
 

s80

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2012: Le Puy-en-Velay - Muxia
2022: Norte
I walked some variant of it in july. backwards. and I cobbled it together myself to avoid as much asphalt as possible. I discovered some nice paths, actually.

refuge de st jacques in bayonne has all the info. some of that info is here, though a bit outdated. waymarked trails map is also useful.

the route is waymarked in a typical french fashion, with blue-yellow stickers and sometimes with yellow arrows. as far as I know, there is no water between bayonne and guethary, there are bars and I think I remember a veggie shop in the industrial zone, but may not be open early.

22km bayonne - guethary
7.7km guethary - saint-jean-de-luz
15km saint-jean-de-luz - irun

there is a gite in guethary, 6 beds, 0603 07 90 34, resevation suggested, €20 bed & breakfast, I heard lovely reports about it. it's very near the centre and about 500m from the sea. guethary has all services, incl. a train station.

gite in saint-jean-de-luz in smack in the centre of the old town, with a full kitchen and a big patio, with two supermarkets 5min away and a beach 10min away. very nice.
10 beds, 0559 23 01 92, call ahead, €12 bed & breakfast, 15h-22h.

the official waymarked route avoids the coast, I didn't take it.

sentier littoral is officialy closed but is totally passable in its entirety. it's waymarked with yellow splashes and some signposts. it basically follows the main road above the cliffs, safely behind a wooden fence, but you have to climb over it over and over because there are barriers at all entrances to the path. if you stick to the path along the road behind the fence it if perfectly safe. (barring some terrible weather.) the only really eroded section was the one not oficially barred that passed by a small peebly beach. you can bypass it along the road.

when you reach a museum right off the road (maison de la corniche), sentier littoral goes off the road too and is joined by the official camino. it starts somewhere to the right of the museum, looking your way, and crosses a lovely private peninsula. when the private property ends and the path reaches a street with a parking lot, turn right down the road to the beach and walk left along the beach to reach a paved paseo along the beach of hendaye-plage.

make your way between houses to the main road along the bay of irun/hondarribia and then basically follow this road into spain. the old bridge was barred in july but there is a new bridge next to it.

fountains are in bayonne, guethary, at some of the beaches along the sea, saint-jean-de-luz, socoa, at the museum, in hendaye-plage.

I didn't take the boat because it only started to run at 10h. I would have otherwise. I think it's a neat way into spain and delivers you directly to pretty hondarribia.
This is incredibly helpful. Thank you so much for the very detailed information. I think I'll try this and walk along the coast as much as possible. How was the journey between Bayonne and Bidart?
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2014, 2016, 2018, 2022, 2023, 2024
Thank you for your response -- this is great to hear! After crossing into Hondarribia, did you go to Irun or continue on along the coast?
We stayed in Hondarribia and started from there onto the alpine (high scenic) route the next morning (one of my favorite Camino days). Hondarribia is a charming town and we enjoyed the evening there. The 2 days we walked from Bayonne to Hondarribia was the perfect warmup for the more strenuous days in Spain afterwards.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portuguese, Aragon, Norte, SJWayUK, Nive
I agree with all the posts so far! 👍. Also, you can review my daily update posts from when we walked it in October 2021.

If you arrive by plane, you can actually start walking from the airport, but you’ll miss Bayonne and it’s Cathedral. From Bayonne, you can simply walk through the neighborhoods to the coast and then along that to Biarritz - a lovely city that should not be missed (no albergues there, but worth a splurge if you can afford it). There is a non-Camino waymarked route the all the way along the coast to St Jean de Luz that is easy to follow and the albergue in SJdL is great. Plus pack a swim suit as the swimming there and in San Sebastián is fabulous.

The ferry is simple, inexpensive, and fun. You do miss the feeling of crossing an international border, though, and that one in Hendaye/Irun was a major one in WWII. Definitely rest up in that area overnight, though, as the next day involves a climb to start your stage.

Overall, do it!
 

Isabelle A

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Chemin portugais, chemin français et chemin primitif (2019)
Hello! I’m wondering if anyone has recently walked from Bayonne to Irun/the northern route?

I saw on one thread that someone suggested walking along the l'Adour river from Bayonne to the coast to Biarritz. They said from there you can follow Le Sentier Littoral, a coastal trail all the way to Hendaye. Have others taken this route recently? Are these routes well marked? Are there any updated maps/resources you would share? Are there any maps available at the cathedral in Bayonne?

Also, has anyone recently taken the ferry from Hendaye over to Spain? Would you recommend this option?

From what I can see on Gronze, the Albergue in Saint-Jean-de-Luz is currently operating. Has anyone stayed here recently?

That's a lot of questions! Thanks so much for any information shared! :)
Bonjour !

Mon conjoint et moi avons marché de Bayonne à Irun vers le 9-10 août 2022. Le balisage est très mauvais. D'autres pèlerins que nous avons rencontré avaient la même opinion. L'application Buen Camino pourrait vous aider.

Le refuge pour pèlerins Sainte Elizabeth à St-Jean de Luz est vraiment super, de mon point de vue.

Voilà tout ce que je peux fournir comme information !

Bon chemin

Isabelle, Québec, Canada
 
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Granny Sue

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Konstance - Bayonne
Hello! I’m wondering if anyone has recently walked from Bayonne to Irun/the northern route?

I saw on one thread that someone suggested walking along the l'Adour river from Bayonne to the coast to Biarritz. They said from there you can follow Le Sentier Littoral, a coastal trail all the way to Hendaye. Have others taken this route recently? Are these routes well marked? Are there any updated maps/resources you would share? Are there any maps available at the cathedral in Bayonne?

Also, has anyone recently taken the ferry from Hendaye over to Spain? Would you recommend this option?

From what I can see on Gronze, the Albergue in Saint-Jean-de-Luz is currently operating. Has anyone stayed here recently?

That's a lot of questions! Thanks so much for any information shared! :)
We walked from St.Jean de Luz today to Hendaye. The Litoral has eroded but there is a new path. Cross the bridge from SJ de Luz on the right hand side to Socoa and walk along the bay until you come to a church sign( st. François Xavier). You will see a sign ( a new one) and just follow it. It will take you through woods and is a very nice path. At one point there is glass recycle bin and you need to watch out for the turning on the left .look for red and white or yellow markings. You will then follow the coast from maison de la Cornish Basque and it’s beautiful!
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
see signature
This is incredibly helpful. Thank you so much for the very detailed information. I think I'll try this and walk along the coast as much as possible. How was the journey between Bayonne and Bidart?
you're welcome.

honestly, I have no idea. I only walked the official camino through the industrial zone which has bars and that probable veggie shop. before and after that I detoured on my own creation of a route (no services but three shorter sections on paths/tracks - of which I was very proud of for finding! 😄 - and a lovely section on a cement bikelane along the uhabia river).

I was told that there is no water between the two places and that there are bars around biaritz's train station. there is a public toilet just before the camino crosses the uhabia river.
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
see signature
We walked from St.Jean de Luz today to Hendaye. The Litoral has eroded but there is a new path. Cross the bridge from SJ de Luz on the right hand side to Socoa and walk along the bay until you come to a church sign( st. François Xavier). You will see a sign ( a new one) and just follow it. It will take you through woods and is a very nice path. At one point there is glass recycle bin and you need to watch out for the turning on the left .look for red and white or yellow markings. You will then follow the coast from maison de la Cornish Basque and it’s beautiful!
looking on waymarked trails, you are talking about the new course of sentier littoral which is the same as the camino-marked route, correct?
which is not strictly coastal anymore because it runs off the coast through woods and meadows? any views of the sea?

socoa-hendaye.jpg
 

Granny Sue

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Konstance - Bayonne
looking on waymarked trails, you are talking about the new course of sentier littoral which is the same as the camino-marked route, correct?
which is not strictly coastal anymore because it runs off the coast through woods and meadows? any views of the sea?

View attachment 133277
The costal route does not exist - it fell into the sea!!!
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
see signature
The costal route does not exist - it fell into the sea!!!
I find that hard to believe. there is a small section at the very end in socoa which is definitely closed-off with high fences that may have fallen into the sea, but the rest is a path along the main road. except for the one section which goes down to a small peebly beach, all other sections which veered to the cliffs were quite overgrown in july and obviously not walked for a while. perhaps the disappeared section is there.
 
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Granny Sue

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Konstance - Bayonne
I find that hard to believe. there is a small section at the very end in socoa which is definitely closed-off with high fences that may have fallen into the sea, but the rest is a path along the main road. except for the one section which goes down to a small peebly beach, all other sections which veered to the cliffs were quite overgrown in july and obviously not walked for a while. perhaps the disappeared section is there.
Sorry but I’m done with this! Someone asked a question , I gave a very acceptable solution and it is questioned and I was there there on Saturday! So no more from me - Chou !
 

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